18 March 2007

maktab al-bareed.

I experienced the Jordanian Post Office today, in an excruciatingly inefficient hour of my life that I can never get back again. The post office was a nightmare of bureaucratic chaos. You walk in, wander aimlessly among the PO boxes until someone takes pity on you and points you up the stairs to the actual office (no signs to indicate this, however). I've drawn a map to help illuminate the process.

Step 1: Take package slip to man at desk, who digs through "file system" of cardboard scribbled with marker to find receipt.
Step 2: Take said receipt to old man with ledger in back room, who records your passport information and stamps the receipt.
Step 3: Old man gives receipt to shabab in storage room, who finds package.
Step 4: Take package to yet another official, who opens it, stares blankly at the nine bags of gummy worms, and creates more paperwork.
Step 5: Take paperwork to customs agent for signature.
Step 6: Take signed paperwork to other customs agent for stamp and filing.
Step 7: Take receipt to third customs agent for payment of duties.
Step 8: Take receipt back to old man with ledger, who records the payment of customs duties.
Step 9: Take receipt back to package-searcher, claim (open) package, leave office.

The significance of the other rooms remains a mystery, although I'm guessing they're probably used for sending a package, since it would be silly to have one employee perform more than one function. On the bright side, three boxes of matzo ball soup means we can have Jew night now, complete with potato latkes (but probably no challah and/or bagels).

1 comment:

Bashar said...

I totally understand your frustration ... that is why we tend not to use Jordan post office anymore !! :)

anyways, they are under a business process reengineering project, and hopefully it will get more clinet centric